Water Source Protection Education


Sacred Heart High School is home to the GENESIS program- an environmental education program seeking to foster stewards of the earth. Throughout the semester, students have learned about water source protection and the importance clean water plays in human health. Our school is situated in Walkerton, Ontario and as such, the importance of water source protection is understood by many in the community. As a way to foster education with youth, guest speakers and field work was completed with local experts about wetlands and water source protection. With this knowledge, students developed a mitigation project for backcountry sites north of Parry Sound. These sites see numerous summer camps and outdoor enthusiasts. Unfortunately, protection of all waterways and forest habitat preservation is lost on many. Our class goal was twofold: 1) Educate visitors with simple approachable backcountry guidelines, 2) provide visitors a safe place to defecate away from waterways and sensitive areas.


Starting in February of 2022 students began researching water source protection, backcountry guidelines, “thunder box” construction and techniques, and laser engraving processes. In April, students took part in a two day field study that involved a walking tour of Walkerton explaining the steps that took place in the Walkerton water tragedy. Additionally, students took part in a wetlands study and discussion around how to mitigate human impacts on water systems. In May, students assembled and disassembled “thunder boxes” in class, and packed them for their canoe trip north. Last week, May 17, students paddled in 12 km and portaged three portages to get to Lone Tree Lake. Once on the lake, students cleaned up Crown land sites, selected suitable sites for “thunder boxes” and posted guidelines for campers.

Reflection & Celebration

After our return to school, students have decided that this region will continue to be maintained by future classes. To this end, we will maintain these “thunder boxes”, crownland sites and install more “thunder boxes” in future years.

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land
17. Partnerships for the Goals
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